Stanley Beer Yard Turns Into Calexico

We’ve all grown to love the Stanley Beer Yard – especially when Charles Leonard spins the one’s and two’s. Now it’s gone a major revamp and has launched as Joburg’s latest and greatest Americana food and beer fusion hangout.


Out with the old and in with the new, as it were. The much-anticipated re-opening and revamp of Joburg’s top craft beer hangouts, Stanley Beer Yard  at 44 Stanley, Milpark, is finally open. Co-owners Larry Hodes (Arbour Cafe) and Michael Vacy-Lyle () are excited to show Joburg what they have in store: “The new restaurant is an eclectic mix of Americana style food, décor and music – staying true to the nature of Stanley beer Yard, but with a shinier and edgier feel”. Fortunately for us, legendary Joburg journalist and vinyl spinner, Charles Leonard is still playing at this iconic spot on Fridays.


What’s In A Name

Not quite Tex-Mex but almost there. The revamped Stanley Beer Yard is named after Calexico – a border city in California: a portmanteau of the words California and Mexico and a perfect intermingling of music genres, food and dance.  It’s this spirit of indulgence that Calexico at 44 Stanley is inspired by. It’s a eat a little, drink a little, talk a lot type of vibe that Joburgers can’t seem to get enough of.

All About The Music

If you’ve never been to the Stanley Beer Yard, then let’s get one thing clear: it’s all about the tunes. “Their feel-good harmonies, alongside legends like Band of Horses, the Eagles, The Band, Otis Redding, John Coltrane, Bob Marley and The Beastie Boys have inspired our very own Calexico: an Americana style restaurant and bar. Calexico has its roots in great music and being first and foremost a vinyl lounge, we have decided to include a vinyl wall full of records from legendary musicians. We have included a classic record player, where patrons are welcome to play their own choice of vinyl during the day” says Larry Hodes.

Food And Drink

Stanley Beer Yard has always been known for its rocking pub grub with a gourmet twist. The new menu was designed by chef and food stylist Robyn Timson-Moss (the lady responsible for the look and feel of Arbour Cafe in Birdhaven), who dived head-first into iconic southern Californian cuisine. When designing the menu, Robyn embraced items such as artichoke, nachos, hot briskets, and racks of ribs. Calexico prides itself on diversity and originality – inspiration hit when trawling through the names of great rock legends and flavourful food styles and genres – a perfect combo of music, eating and drinking. One of the craft beers on tap worth singling out would be the Durban based Poison City – one of food writer Shawn Greyling’s favourite South African brews.


At the time of writing Calexico’s Facebook page and website were under construction… maybe you will have better luck when you read this – here’s the link to the website:

Address: 44 Stanley Ave, Braamfontein Werf, Johannesburg, 2092

By Shawn Greyling


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